JAKARTA: Former Malaysian prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims he and his family and friends are being harassed by government agencies.
He said the harassment, including visits from the Inland Revenue Board, were attempts to pressure him to stop criticising Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The Straits Times reported Dr Mahathir telling reporters in Jakarta on Monday: “I am being harassed at the moment. A lot of things are being done to make life very uncomfortable for me, and my family and my friends. They are being visited by the Income Tax Department.”
“All kinds of things have been done in order to stop me from doing anything that may affect the image of Najib,” he added.
Mahathir was in Jakarta to give a public lecture on ‘Building Economic Independence and Clean Government’ to university students.
He told the press conference that the “wrongdoings” of Najib’s Government were “now known to everyone, to the whole world and to Malaysians”.
The United States’ Justice Department last week filed a civil suit to seize assets it believes were bought using money stolen from state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, whose advisory board was led by Najib until May this year.
Pointing out that Mahathir had, in the past, warned his critics against speaking poorly about the country abroad, the Straits Times report said Mahathir told the foreign media that Malaysia under Najib was not democratic as Najib had “seized power” over all the instruments of government.
Mahathir had earlier this month announced he was planning to form a new political party.
He said on Monday: “We don’t know whether we will succeed or not but certainly you have to try something. If you don’t do anything, of course you will not succeed.” – FMT